OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 17, 2014) - The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) (Agriculture), made the following statement to mark the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014, which takes place from November 17 to 23:

"Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world's largest annual celebration that recognizes the immeasurable contributions of entrepreneurs in more than 140 countries. Its goal is to inspire millions of young people to embrace innovation, ingenuity and creativity through entrepreneurship.

"I would like to thank the official host of Global Entrepreneurship Week in Canada, Futurpreneur Canada, whose mission to encourage young entrepreneurs plays a vital role in the future of our country. By mentoring and inspiring young entrepreneurs, Futurpreneur plays a leading role in promoting Canada's growth and prosperity.

"Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) represent 99.8 percent of all businesses in Canada, account for nearly 9 in 10 jobs in the private sector and contribute over 50 percent to our private sector gross domestic product.

"Our government believes in entrepreneurship. We believe in free trade. We believe in the capacity of Canadian businesses to grow and create wealth by providing goods and services to consumers around the world, which is why our government is working to give SMEs the tools they need to succeed. We are reducing taxes, eliminating red tape and providing SMEs with unparalleled access to international markets. In this year alone, we are delivering an estimated $2.2 billion in tax relief to SMEs and investing in youth entrepreneurship, helping our SMEs access financing and stimulating venture capital.

"I invite all Canadians to join me this week in expressing appreciation for all entrepreneurs-from the family-run businesses in our communities to the high-growth firms. At home and in global markets, these Canadians are creating jobs and keeping our economy strong."

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Contact Information:

Laurence Gagnon d'Entremont
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of State
(Small Business and Tourism)

Media Relations
Industry Canada